Monday, March 22, 2004

Battle in the Bullpen 

With George Sherrill and Randy Williams getting sent down, and 9 pitching spots locked down (Moyer, Pineiro, Garcia, Franklin, Meche, Guardado, Hasegawa, Soriano, Mateo), we are left with three lefties and Kevin Jarvis fighting for 2-3 spots.

Latest Larry Larue article hints that one or two lefties are likely to get cut. And Melvin saying that he is "leaning toward 11 pitchers" instead of 12, makes it that much tougher.

The contestents for the final 2-3 spots are:

Kevin Jarvis. Guaranteed to make $4.5 million this year, whether he plays or not. Had his first good outing of the year yesterday with two scoreless innings, and the M's will give him every chance to make the team.

Ron Villone. Has a $1 million contract with further incentives if he starts. He has worked with pitching coach Bryan Price on his delivery against lefties, and has had an excellent Spring.

Mike Myers. The sub-Mariner. Has pitched great this Spring, and very dominant against lefties. Has minor league invite that says M's must release him if not on the team by April.

Terry Mulholland. Has had a decent Spring, but not as dominant as Myers or Villone. 40 years old, and no guaranteed contract makes him the most expendable of this bunch.

My guess is that Myers and Villone are in, and that Jarvis being in means the M's keep 12 pitchers. The M's want Jarvis to succeed so that if nothing else, they can move him without having to eat ALL of his contract. If we keep Jarvis at the expense of Myers or Villone, that would be a big mistake.

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